PROJECT PROFILES

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Mount Pleasant Airbase, Falklands
Client: Defence Estates
Site: Mount Pleasant Airbase, Falklands
Contractor: Colas/Mott MacDonald
Quantity: 13800sqm
Date: 2010/2011

In 2010, Defence Estates awarded Colas’ Airfield Division a multi-million pound project to refurbish the airfield at Mount Pleasant Airport in the Falklands Islands.  Mount Pleasant Airbase, East Falkland is the only joint military and civilian airfield on British soil.

The project, which ran from Autumn 2010 to early 2011, was the first major refurbishment of the airfield since it was constructed in 1985 and was planned to coincide with summer in the southern hemisphere and the 25th anniversary events to commemorate the Falklands war.

Work included resurfacing both of Mount Pleasant’s 2.4km runways, as well as all of its taxiways, links and loops and involved refurbishment of all the asphalt surfaces and replacement of all airfield ground lighting together with specialist surface treatments laid by Asphalt Reinforcement Services Ltd and civil engineering.  Much of the work was carried out at night and under very extreme weather conditions.  The Falklands is infamous for its ‘four seasons in one day’ climate.

Significant resources and logistics were required to complete the project, which was 8,000 miles from the UK, including two mobile asphalt plants.  Colas’ own Warrington plant supplied the entire bitumen and bond coat required for the project.  Over 12,000 drums of binder were filled and transported.

It is critical to get main runway open in time every Friday to maintain the Island’s key supply lines.  The runway had to remain operable for military use all week.  A squadron of RAF Typhoons is based here and the phasing of our work has been calculated to allow take off within 15 minutes’ notice – Simon Downing, Airfields Business Manager at Colas